Football - Shrimpers worry over Laird

Marc Laird faces a late fitness test ahead of Southend's FA Cup third-round replay at Brentford.

PA Sport

The midfielder was forced off after just 29 minutes of Saturday's disappointing 3-0 defeat at Exeter having pulled a hamstring.

Manager Paul Sturrock will assess another couple of unnamed players nursing bumps and bruises following the encounter.

Striker Britt Assombalonga, who has 12 goals to his name this season, continues to struggle with his ankle and shin problems.

Veteran frontman Neil Harris made his long-awaited return from a knee injury as a late substitute at the weekend and can again expect to find himself on the bench.

Southend and Brentford drew 2-2 in their initial meeting and the winners of the replay will be rewarded with a fourth-round tie at home to European champions and FA Cup holders Chelsea.

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